This work was supported by funding from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Fonds québécois de recherche—Société et culture (FQRSC). We are grateful to the children, parents, and child-care centers that participated in the present research. We also thank Paul Bloom, Michael Chandler, Geoff Hall, Larry Walker, Janet Werker, and Fei Xu for helpful feedback.
Epistemic States and Traits: Preschoolers Appreciate the Differential Informativeness of Situation-Specific and Person-Specific Cues to Knowledge
Article first published online: 17 OCT 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 82, Issue 6, pages 1788–1796, November/December 2011
How to Cite
Brosseau-Liard, P. E. and Birch, S. A. J. (2011), Epistemic States and Traits: Preschoolers Appreciate the Differential Informativeness of Situation-Specific and Person-Specific Cues to Knowledge. Child Development, 82: 1788–1796. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01662.x
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 17 OCT 2011
Previous research has demonstrated that preschoolers can use situation-specific (e.g., visual access) and person-specific (e.g., prior accuracy) cues to infer what others know. The present studies investigated whether 4- and 5-year-olds appreciate the differential informativeness of these types of cues. In Experiment 1 (N = 50), children used others’ prior labeling accuracy as a cue when learning labels for, but not the visual identity of, hidden objects. In Experiment 2 (N = 64), with both cues present, children attended more to visual access than prior accuracy when learning the visual identity of, but not labels for, hidden objects. These findings demonstrate that children appreciate the difference between situation- and person-specific cues and flexibly evaluate these cues depending on what information they are seeking.